French firm AREVA will continue to manage the used fuel from Belgium’s BR2 research reactor, following a contract extension from the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK CEN).

The contract covers processing of used nuclear fuel from the reactor as well as related transport operations, AREVA says.

The BR2 reactor uses highly enriched uranium (HEU) placed in a beryllium matrix.

The used fuel from the reactor will be treated at AREVA’s la Hague reprocessing plant in the Manche region of France to reduce the volume and radiotoxicity of the residual waste. Any resulting waste will be returned to Belgium in accordance with French regulations and the intergovernmental agreement between the two countries.

AREVA first signed a contract with SCK CEN for BR2 used fuel treatment in 1997.

Photo: BR2 in Belgium (Source; SCK CEN)